Evolving workforce and expectations around wellbeing unfolds

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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Evolving workforce and expectations around wellbeing unfolds

The demands of the constantly evolving workforce are shifting, and expectations around wellbeing at the workplace are unfolding with them. For organisations, operating in a state of uncertainty has become the new normal, whether it is about adapting to flexible and hybrid settings, ensuring fairness and equality for a diverse workforce, or finding ways to upskill employees.

The trend of employees voluntarily resigning from their jobs, often referred to as the ‘Great Global Quit’, has highlighted employees’ financial, mental, and physical burnout due to the pandemic. According to a study, nearly 40% of the global workforce is ready to move on from their current jobs. While nearly 150 million people lost their jobs during the pandemic, there seem to be many more who are willingly looking to quit. The reasons for this mass resignation at a global scale can be attributed to reasons such as a rethinking of careers, the realisation of long-term professional and personal goals, fueled by working conditions during the pandemic. Hence, there is a clear need to put greater emphasis on holistic wellness, work-life balance, and comprehensively addressing employee wellbeing.

Wellbeing Trends in 2022

Focus on Mental Health, Stress Management and Mindfulness

The impact that the pandemic has had on people would very likely be felt in the years to come. Rising stress and burnout, along with other mental health-related issues like anxiety have posed challenges to employee wellbeing. With work hours becoming boundary less, employees are being stretched to capacity, it has become increasingly important to focus on aiding stress management and mindfulness. Organisations should now pay attention to ensuring a healthy work-life balance for employees to provide mental health resources and support mindful wellbeing.

Financial Wellness and Employee Stress Need to be Addressed

Financial wellness is another upcoming wellbeing trend. The financial impact of the pandemic was felt all around the world, with economies taking hits while trying to recover.

According to a survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson in the United States, it was found that 37% of employees were living paycheck to paycheck, and out of those, 57% were financially struggling to make ends meet. While everyone has been on a shrunken budget for the past two years, several employees with dependent family members are struggling. Hence, it is the responsibility of the employers to provide tools and resources for financial wellness to reduce employee stress.

Wellness Offerings Need to be Personalised and Human-Centric

Employee expectations have evolved exponentially over the last two years. Employees are now more appreciative of comprehensive benefits like mental health services, healthcare plans, and wellness policies. However, it is important to remember that wellness means different things to different people, and therefore there cannot be one strategy for all. Organisations must figure out how to build sustainable wellness programmes that support the unique needs of a diverse group of employees.

How can Employers Create a Healthy, Productive Workplace?

Promote an Employee Assistance & Awareness Programme

Besides providing services to employees, it is also essential to ensure that they are aware of the resources available to support them. Create an impactful communication campaign to keep employees updated about the resources available.

Stay Connected with your Team

As people continue to struggle with feelings of isolation and disconnect, staying connected is crucial. Managers can schedule virtual meets to check in with their teams, look for signs of burnout and stress and provide resources and support as and when required.

Encourage Self-Care

It is important to remind employees to take care of their physical and mental health. Organisations can host walkathons, step challenges, offer health and wellness subscriptions etc., to ensure the holistic wellbeing of their workforce.

Remind Employees of the Importance of Work-Life Balance

Maintaining a healthy balance between work and personal life has become a challenge. With stress and anxiety being at an all-time high, and employees putting in more work hours, it is important for employers to reiterate the importance of a healthy balance.While it is hard to predict what 2022 unfolds, it is important for employers to remember that going forward, their policies must continue to remain people-centric and well-rounded. Organisations that put their people first are the ones that would continue to thrive.

[author title=”Harish Sarma” image=”http://”]Harish Sarma, Vice President, Marketing, Sodexo BRS India, is a graduate of IIM Calcutta and NIT Durgapur with expertise in B2B and B2C marketing, strategic planning, product management and digital marketing expert .[/author]


Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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